To make your dream holiday come true call us on 01606 828 580 or email us.

Playa Del Carmen blog

‘Have you ever been to Mexico?’  If I had a penny for every time I was asked this question…!

I have sold Cancun/ Riviera Maya for the last 32 years and I finally got to visit for myself!   I have travelled to many Caribbean Islands such as, Tobago, Dom Rep, Barbados, and  St Lucia – but never made it to Mexico.  I guess it just wasn’t on my radar – I always preferred the look of somewhere else. 

So here is a short blog to wet your appetite and see if this place could work for you and your family, as it has for us.

There are not many direct flights from Manchester to the Caribbean.  Our choices are:  Dominican Republic, Cuba, Jamaica, Barbados and Mexico ( Cancun ) Any other island requires a change of plane somewhere or a trip to London.   Having only a short time in February half term it was pretty essential we could fly direct.   We compared prices and value for money against the hotel quality we could get and decided upon Riviera Maya.    Wyndham Azteca Hotel.

The flight with TUI was on the Dreamliner.  We didn’t pay for Premium (wasted on the kids)  nor did I bother with ‘extra space’ seat TUI offer for approx. £45 each more.   After looking at these to be honest there was not much difference in these and the standard seats.    The flight took a little over 10 hours and was perfectly fine – good films to watch and I had a good book! 

On arrival to Cancun – now here is where it fell apart!  The queues absolutely finished us off after that long flight – it was nearly 4 hours from landing to walking out of the terminal.  Frayed tempers were all around us.   That and the fact that you cannot take any vapes into the country made these moods worse I am sure of it. 

But we got out, and we made our way to the TUI coach, another 30 mins wait, and we started our transfer to the resort – taking approx. 1 hour. 

Now If you hate queues like me – and you are not on a budget – I would absolutely look into the VIP fast track at the airport – its not cheap at approx. £300 each – but if you are a couple or family spending quite a bit anyway factor this in for your sanity if you’re travelling peak times to Cancun!

The Hotel

Wyndham Azteca – I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting too much.  We were travelling as part of a group of 14, we planned to make our own entertainment and God I just needed the rest and beach after a really crappy start to the year.   The hotel is 4 star, only 300 ish rooms (which I prefer to the 1000+ rooms you find here) lots of German, French, Canadians and just a few British from what I could see.   

As soon as you check in you can start to book your a la carte restaurants on the app.  This is the first time I’ve been able to get into restaurants with relative ease.  May last year for example, we stayed in Turkey, 5 star and couldn’t get into the a la cartes as they were nearly always booked up.  The buffet here though – I actually really liked – which wasn’t like me as I normally do prefer to be waited on!

The a la cartes are a really nice standard, not if you’re into Michelin star places – I will manage expectations there – but much better than I expected for a 4 star.

There are snacks and drinks 24 hours a day, and the cocktails in the bar are very good!   They even made us Expresso Martinis each night, even though they were not on the menu. 

We didn’t bother with the entertainment at night, or kids club etc, we just aren’t that kind of family.  I believe its ok – the usual loud music and dancers.  If you are a person who loves the entertainment and lots of kid’s clubs etc – then there are probably bigger better hotels for you.  If that does your head as it does me – then this could work!!

In the day you can do yoga on the beach, kids can play table tennis, or do crafts.  Beach volleyball competitions every day, included kayaking on the beach as well.   If you want to do snorkelling trips. jet skis or banana boats you can pay. 

The beach by the way, is stunning!   And do you know what the best bit is ???   No worrying about sunbeds – you can lie in, have a leisurely breakfast, and then wander down to the beach and still get a bed.  I absolutely love that!!

Now there is one big plus point staying in the Azteca I haven’t mentioned yet – they have a sister hotel 5 mins walk away called the MAYA.  Anyone staying the smaller Azteca can eat and use facilities in the Maya, but they cannot use ours!!  The Maya is twice the size, and you can try their restaurants and entertainment for a change any time you want. 


Day 4 we had a cloudy day – what to do when it rains???     Go for a wonder to town and a little shopping of course!   Playa Del carmen is about 30 mins walk along the beach – perfect distance!  At nighttime it probably isn’t a place you would stay late with kids – but during the day it was brilliant.  Some very nice shops and great spots for a lovely lunch and a very nice wine.  We stopped at a great little beach club for a nice wine, and they had a live band on, what better way to spend a few hours!


What did we do in the 11 days we were here.  Well, I didn’t want to do much – but  there were a few places I needed to see, and I love a boat trip! 

We booked catamaran trip from a guy on the beach (mistake) He promised the trip would be a suitable for kids – and on the trip back from Mujeures, well lets say the tequila was flowing and it became a little X Rated , and I am no prude !   The island and the boat crew were great, the organisation -with transfers awful.   But you live and learn.  Don’t buy off the boys on the beach again!  If I was going to advise you, ask for a boat trip from PLAYA Del Carmen to save that transfer time to Cancun to pick it up.  It will be a bit more expensive, but I wish we had done that. 

Before we came, I contacted a company about a private trip to Chitzen Itza and a swim in 2 cenotes.   This was an early start – 7am, and we got back around 5.30pm.  A great day though – and as there were 12 of us worked out cheaper than booking a group trip through TUI for example. 

Our guide was knowledgeable and tried to include the children, so they didn’t get bored.  The 2nd cenote was brilliant – we had it to ourselves!  And it came complete with a zip line in the cave.   Truly it was stunning. 

The last activity we booked was horse riding.  I did my research here and picked a place that was ethical and where I knew the horses were looked after and came first.  There is so much animal cruelty, you need to be aware and do your homework.   When we tried to book a taxi with the guest relations in the hotel – they tried to talk us out of it and to book one of theirs where you can ride on the beach– we didn’t listen though as we had done our research, and we knew that they get commission from sending clients to different places.   If you are interested in horse riding, I couldn’t recommend the RANCHO BAAXAL enough.   All their horses are rescues.  Insurance is in place, and they truly care about their horses – more than the paying guests!!  Most of the horses are ridden western style and without a bit in their mouth, so the ride is as enjoyable for them as it is for us. 



So, is the Wyndham Azteca for you?

Yes, if you like:

Smaller hotels

Quieter entertainment

Good location near to town

Not after a real 5 star ‘foodie experience’ but good, tasty food and lots of choice

Don’t want/need lots of kid’s clubs / waterslides etc

Good friendly staff and service everywhere in resort


If you have any questions on anything I have done here, or would like a price for your own holiday, please don’t hesitate to contact me .

Dream | Explore | Discover

Footer Banner

This website uses Cookies to improve your browsing experience. View Cookies Policy

I'm fine with this